Calgary

Patrick Brown's campaign manager joins Michelle Rempel Garner for possible UCP leadership bid

Patrick Brown's campaign manager has left to help Michelle Rempel Garner with her possible bid to lead the United Conservative Party in Alberta.

Conservative leadership campaign says Sean Schnell has stepped away

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner, pictured here at a press conference in Ottawa in 2021, has attracted the help of Patrick Brown's campaign manager in her possible bid for the Alberta UCP leadership. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Patrick Brown's campaign manager has left to help Michelle Rempel Garner with her possible bid to lead the United Conservative Party in Alberta.

Brown's Conservative leadership campaign says Sean Schnell has stepped away to follow Rempel Garner, who announced last week she was leaving her role as Brown's national co-chair.

Rempel Garner is considering a run to replace Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in his job as leader of the provincial party, following his decision to resign after narrowly surviving a leadership review last month.

Schnell had worked for Rempel Garner's office before either leadership race began.

Chisholm Pothier, a spokesman for Brown, said Schnell stuck around for a few days after deciding to go with Rempel Garner so that he could help the team through the transition.

Pothier says Fred DeLorey, who served as the federal party's national campaign manager for the 2021 federal election, remains on the team as the executive chairman.

Over the past month, Brown has also lost the support of two Conservative MPs — Ontario's Kyle Seeback and Dan Muys — to his main rival for the leadership, Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre.

Brown's campaign has brushed off their decisions, saying it counts for just two votes out of the more than 150,000 new members it says he signed up.

Poilievre has said he sold nearly 312,000 memberships — a record-breaking number — and asked the party to validate those figures, which it has declined to do.

With the party looking at having a voting base of more than 600,000 members, it is working to get a national list of their names to campaigns no later than July 4.

The winner of the Conservative leadership race will be announced in Ottawa on Sept. 10.

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